4 Laws of Lawn Mowing


Hi! Pete Moss here with Four Laws of Lawn Mowing.


Yes, it’s that time of year again. Time to fire up the mower, get out and enjoy the spring air while cutting the grass. From now ‘til November, when you’re mowing up fallen leaves, it’s a weekly chore that us guys do. And like guys do, we have laws involved. These are from Vince Staten and come from his excellent book, Did Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench? I have adapted them a bit.

  1. The lawn mower always runs out of gas at a point equidistant from the gas can and a cold beer. And oh, that cold beer has such a gravitational pull!
  2. Grass grows in inverse proportion to how busy you are. When you have the least amount of time to mow, your lawn grows like a rain forest.
  3. Lawn mowers take as long to repair as you want them to. Need to mow next week, your mower will be done. Want to take a few weeks off from mowing, no problem, the parts are on order, it’ll be awhile!
  4. The grass is always greener when you fertilize. An old friend of mine used to say fertilizing is feeding the enemy. On a hot day in August when I’m mowing, I often think the same thing. Why do we create so much extra work for ourselves?

So why do we mow? Why is green grass that is cut evenly so attractive to us all? That is hard to wrap up here, but this practice does go back to the middle ages. Back then grass was shortened for picnic areas by pounding it down. Later, hand cutting grass with a scythe became the thing. Walking behind your mower in July a little to tiring for you? Try the scythe out, and then see how nice your mower is!


In 1830 Edward Budding adapted a machine designed to shear the nap off velvet to cut grass. The reel mower was born, and teenage boys immediately had to come up with excuses to get out of mowing the lawn. Reel mowers are reely a lot of work.


Gas powered mowers came in around the turn of the 20th century and were a big hit. By the mid 1950’s most mowers had what we now think of as normal, the horizontal rotating blade. Then came self, propelled mowers, riding mowers, and the hovering, laser-cut robo-mowers, but perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself.


Rest assured that your local Ace Hardware store can help you out with your mowing needs this season. We have many brands and models featuring Craftsman and Toro. We also have many electric and battery-operated models to choose from. Reely want to try out a reel mower? Ace is the place for them too.  Mowers have come a long way. No hand-operated scythes here, the new features they have are really worthwhile. 

If you’re tired of fighting with your old mower maybe you need the 5th law of lawn mowing: Ace is the place with the helpful lawn mower folks!